'We' includes MoneyWeek and other Future Publishing Limited brands as detailed here.
May 28, 2022 8:38 a.m. EDT
[Editor’s Note: More profiles of major military aircraft programs are available to Aviation Week Intelligence Network subscribers at awin.aviationweek.com.]
The E-3 Sentry Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) is an airborne early warning and control (AEW&C) aircraft based on the Boeing 707-320B commercial airliner. The aircraft is powered by four Pratt & Whitney TF33-PW-100A jet engines supplying 20,500 lbf. (91.2 kN) or General Electric CFM56-2 turbofans supplying 24,000 lbf. (106.8 kN) of thrust at sea level each.
The E-3 carries a pulse-doppler mechanically scanned S-band radar in a 30-ft. rotating dome suspended 11 ft. above the fuselage by a pair of struts. This radar is the AN/APY-1 or APY-2, depending on the E-3 variant. The U.S. Air Force (USAF) quotes the radar’s effective range at “more than” 217.2 nmi (402.3 km).
The “rotodome” also contains an identification friend-or-foe (IFF) antenna and antennas for the aircraft’s datalinks. Originally, the E-3 used the Link 4A (TADIL-C) datalink to communicate with fighter aircraft. To facilitate a 360-deg. field of view, the dome is hydraulically rotated at 6 rpm. When not operating the dome rotates at 1/24 of this speed to heat the lubricant and prevent it from congealing.
The E-3 can operate beyond 29,000 ft. (8,840 m). USAF also says the E-3 can operate more than 5,000 nmi (9,260 km) from its base. This estimate goes for aircraft equipped with the TF33. Boeing, for its part, quotes an endurance of six hours at a mission radius of 870 nmi (1,610 km).
The E-3 uses an IBM CC-1 mission computer. Most of the avionics are air cooled, though the radar transmitter has a liquid cooling system. Nine Situation Display Consoles (SDCs) are carried for operators, yielding a typical aircrew of 13. Later variants carry additional consoles and can deploy with more operators.
The aircraft features a refueling slipway above the cockpit to enable in-flight refueling by a boom-type refueler.
The EC-137D was the designation for E-3 prototypes, two of which were built by and retained by Boeing. These were later upgraded to the E-3B standard.
E-3A [Block 10/15]
E-3A aircraft come in two configurations, the “Core” Block 10 and the “Standard” Block 15. Block 15 features the APY-2 radar, an upgraded APY-1 with sea-search capability. Counting the prototypes, the first 25 E-3s are Block 10s. All aircraft produced thereafter carry the APY-2.
E-3B [Block 20]
The E-3B is a modernized E-3 variant upgraded to the Block 20 standard. Block 20 includes five new Situation Display Consoles (SDCs), the IBM CC-2 computer, radio teletype capability and maritime surveillance capability for the APY-1. Five new UHF radios and one HF radio also were fitted, and the UHF radios included feature HAVE QUICK frequency-hopping capability. Block 20 and Block 25 modifications began in 1984.
E-3C [Block 25]
The E-3C is a further upgrade standard similar to the E-3B, but for aircraft with the APY-2.
The E-3D is the E-3 variant procured by the United Kingdom. It features CFM56-2 engines, the APY-2 and the Loral EW-1017 ESM system.
The E-3F is the E-3 variant procured by France. Like the E3-3, it uses the CFM56-2 and carries the APY-2. It was not initially equipped with an ESM system but received one after delivery.
E-3G [Block 40/45]
E-3s receiving Block 40/45 modifications are known as E-3Gs.
The KE-3 is a tanker/cargo derivative of the E-3. It does not feature any elements of the E-3 mission system but has a ventral refueling boom, wingtip drogue pods, a cargo door and a cargo floor. These aircraft are powered by the TF-33.
The RE-3A is a signals intelligence derivative of the KE-3. It features the Tactical Airborne Surveillance System (TASS), a sensor system mounted in two large rectangular fairings on either side of the forward fuselage. These fairings are similar in shape to those seen aboard the USAF RC-135V and RC-135W Rivet Joint. Other small antennas also are present on the underside of the airframe.
The RE-3B is a more advanced derivation of the RE-3B.
The first significant series of E-3 modifications brought aircraft to the Block 30/35 standard. The new Block includes electronic support measures (ESM) capability, the Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS) to support the Link 16 datalink, GPS and new computers. These features Improve location accuracy for targets passed over Link 16 or Link 11 by a factor of 200.
The main Block 30/35 contract was awarded to Boeing in May 1987. Other upgrades, including GPS capability, were added later. In 1994 Boeing was awarded a $16.8 million contract from NATO and a $127 million contract from the U.S. to procure ESM integration kits for their E-3s. The first Block 30/35 upgrades were completed in October 1995, and the program was finished in 2001.
Radar System Improvement Program (RSIP)
The RSIP program began at the direction of USAF in 1989. It was intended to increase the sensitivity of the E-3 radar system and would bring USAF and NATO APY-1 and APY-2 radars to a common standard. The upgrades improved the electronic countermeasures (ECM) resistance of the system, replaced operators’ consoles, introduced a new radar processor and included new software. NATO joined the program in 1994 as operational test and evaluation of the upgrades was well underway. The UK also joined the program in 1996 when it awarded a contract to Boeing to upgrade all seven of its E-3Ds.
Full rate production began in 1997, with the first kits delivered in 1998. The U.S. installed the kits at Tinker AFB during regularly programmed depot maintenance cycles. NATO kits were installed by Daimler-Benz Aerospace (later EADS and now Airbus) in Germany. In February 2002, France awarded a $133 million contract to Boeing for its own RSIP kits.
Starting in October 1994, the Air Force began a series of E-3 upgrades intended to allow the aircraft to serve to 2025. This predominately included obsolescence management and maintainability improvements
Diminishing manufacturing sources Replacement of Avionics for Global Operations and Navigation (DRAGON)
DRAGON is an E-3 upgrade program jointly pursued by NATO and the USAF. It is intended to replace the E-3’s analog cockpit avionics with a glass cockpit and Improve compliance with air traffic management mandates from ICAO and the FAA. This includes ADS-B (Out) capability, a new weather radar, an enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS) and Mode 5 IFF. DRAGON has been pursued concurrently with Block 40/45, and the USAF received the first modified aircraft in January 2017. The upgrades reduce the minimum flight crew from four to three by eliminating the navigator.
The Block 40/45 upgrade brings E-3s to a common E-3G standard and represents an all-around modernization of the E-3 mission system. The upgrades were pursued concurrently with the E-10, the Boeing 767-based replacement for the E-3 and E-8 J-Stars. Block 40/45 testing began in 2006. The upgrade program cost approximately $2.6 billion. It became vitally important after the E-10 program was terminated in 2010.
The upgrade includes the Telephonics AN/UPX-40 IFF system, which provides enhanced clutter rejection over the old system. It also includes new MIDS JTRS Link 16 radios. Most critically, it replaces the computing backend for the aircraft. The flight computer is replaced with a Red Hat Linux-based system and the operator stations are replaced with new Microsoft Windows-based consoles.
Block 40/45 also includes the Internet Protocol Enabled Communications (IPEC) program. IPEC fields an INMARSAT based satellite communications capability on the E-3, enabling full internet connectivity in flight. USAF uses this for IP chat, email and air tasking order and airspace control order dissemination. Aircraft with IPEC carry a rectangular SATCOM antenna just aft of the wing center section.
AWACS Communications Integration Program (ACIP)
ASIP will field a Mobile User Objective System (MUOS) and Second Generation Anti-Jam Tactical UHF Radio for NATO (SATURN) radio capability to the USAF E-3 fleet. The FY23 budget provides $95.2 million for ASIP from FY23 through FY25.
Production and Delivery History
The first E-3s were delivered to the USAF in March 1977. Production terminated in 1992.
Initial operating capability (IOC) for the U.S. E-3 fleet was declared in April 1978. The last aircraft were delivered to the Air Force in 1984. Thirty-four were procured in total. On Sept. 22, 1995, a USAF E-3 77-00354 crashed in Alaska. Of the remaining 33 aircraft, 31 remain in service. Twenty-seven of these are based at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma under Air Combat Command, while the remaining four are based at Kadena AB, Japan, and Elmendorf AFB, Alaska, under Pacific Air Forces.
The FY15 USAF budget request reduced the active inventory from 31 to 24 aircraft, but the inventory was restored in budgets from FY17 through FY19. The see-sawing inventory disrupted the Block 40/45 upgrade program but in FY19 a contract was awarded for the seven remaining Block 30/35 aircraft.
The FY23 Air Force budget proposal decreases modernization funding in view of the Air Force decision to procure a replacement AEW&C aircraft. This includes terminating Block 40/45 funding from FY23 through the FYDP.
The Air Force included $227 million in RDT&E funds for an E-3 replacement in its FY23 budget request. The funds will be used to procure a prototype, which the Air Force says will be delivered in 2027. Another prototype would be bought in FY24 with a production decision in FY25. The Air Force formally selected the Boeing E-7A Wedgetail on April 26, 2022. All prior sales of E-7s have been conducted through Direct Commercial Sales rather than Foreign Military Sales – meaning different intellectual property, financial and other regulations would apply to a prospective USAF acquisition.
The Wedgetail is a Boeing 737-700 carrying Northrop Grumman’s L-band Multi-role Electronically Scanned Array (MESA). This electronically scanned radar is a generational leap over the APY-1/2 capability and is fully mature, having served with the Royal Australian Air Force for over ten years.
This lengthy development phase is interesting in light of the maturity of the E-7 capability and of new Air Force plans to dramatically cut the E-3 fleet in the near term. The FY23 budget request envisions divestment of 15 of the Air Force’s 31 E-3s in FY23 and FY24. The Air Force previously intended to keep its 33 E-3s in service until 2035. It is unclear if Congress will authorize E-3 divestment since it will generate a capability gap spanning the rest of the decade, if not longer. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), for example, said at a May 13, 2023, House Appropriations defense subcommittee hearing that the E-3 retirement plan was a “big risk” and one that “is not wise to take.” For more on the replacement plan, see Aviation Week’s program profile on the E-7 .
Also noteworthy is a lone ex-RAF E-3D bought by the U.S. Navy in June 2021. This E-3D will have its mission equipment removed and will be used by the Navy as a trainer for E-6B Mercury flight crews. Procuring a dedicated trainer will increase the operational availability of the E-6B fleet by reducing the requirement for these aircraft to fly training sorties. For more information on the E-3D acquisition and the E-6 fleet, see Aviation Week’s program profile on the E-6.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) decided in December 1978 to acquire a joint AEW&C capability. It opted to procure 18 E-3As. The first was delivered in January 1982, and all were delivered in E-3A Block 15 configuration. One of these was lost in an accident in 1995 and another was parted out for spares in 2015. One each was retired in 2017 and 2018, leaving 14 in service as of June 2022.
In October 1980, NATO formed its Airborne Early Warning and Control Force. The command controls NATO’s E-3 fleet and controlled the RAF E-3D force before its retirement. The aircraft fly out of forward operating sites in Greece, Italy, Norway and Turkey. NATO’s E-3s began flight operations in 1982.
The Force is managed by a group of sixteen NATO countries comprising the NAEW&C Programme Management Organization (NAPMO). As of 2022, the NAPMO members are Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Turkey and the United States. The UK was never a full NAPMO member but contributed its E-3Ds to the force. France is a NAPMO observer, and coordinates to maintain the interoperability of its E-3 fleet.
In December 2019, NAPMO signed a $1 billion contract with Boeing for a Final Lifetime Extension Program to bring the service life of the NAEW&C force to 2035.
In 1981, Saudi Arabia signed a contract to acquire five E-3As and six KE-3 aerial refueling aircraft. The contract included an option for an additional four KE-3s, which was exercised in 1984. All aircraft were delivered by the end of 1987. Of the KE-3s, four were converted to RE-3As. Three of these later received the more extensive KE-3B upgrade. Another KE-3 was retired, leaving only five of these in service.
Starting in August 2001, Boeing applied mission computer upgrades to the Saudi E-3 fleet. The $60 million contract included related hardware and software changes and was completed in 2003. In September 2007, the Kingdom contracted for the installation of JTIDS terminals. The same year, it requested access to the RSIP upgrade – a contract was awarded in 2008.
From 2009, the fleet began receiving new MIDS/LVT sets, new crypto equipment and new radios. Finally, in 2019, a Foreign Military Sales (FMS) contract was awarded for UPX-40 sets for the fleet. While the Royal Saudi Air Force has not brought its fleet to the Block 40/45 standard outright, its aircraft now have many of its capabilities.
In 1986, the UK released a solicitation for proposals for an AEW&C aircraft to fill the gap left by the imminent cancellation of the Nimrod AEW3 program. AEW3 would have been an AEW&C derivative of the Nimrod maritime patrol aircraft, with air search radars mounted to the nose and tail. By September 1986 the E-3 was the only remaining alternative to the Nimrod, and it was selected in December. Six were to be procured for the Royal Air Force (RAF), with the CFM56-2 engines. An option for a seventh was exercised in late 1987. The first aircraft was delivered in March 1991, with deliveries complete in May 1992. Britain’s E-3s were equipped with probes to support the probe and drogue refueling system used by its air force and with new radio equipment.
The UK’s 2021 Integrated Defence Review included a decision to retire the E-3D force ahead of the incoming Boeing E-7A Wedgetail, its replacement. Retirement of the aircraft by the end of 2021 created a capability gap, as the E-7 will not enter RAF service until 2023.
France ordered three E-3Fs in February 1987 in a similar configuration to the British aircraft. This includes the refueling probes and radio upgrades. Later that year the French government exercised an option for a fourth aircraft. The aircraft were delivered from May 1991 to February 1992.
In June 2022, only four E-3s are still operational. These four all received Block 40/45 upgrades starting in 2014 under a 2010 FMS contract, while the three remaining aircraft were retired.
Chile has signed a contract with the UK to procure three retired E-3Ds to replace the Chilean air force’s lone IAI Phalcon (known in Chile as the Cóndor). The Phalcon is a modified Boeing 707-385C. The E-3Ds are likely to enter service by the end of 2022.
Prepared by Sterling Richmond, email@example.com
IBM announced this afternoon that it will acquire open-source software company Red Hat for $34 billion, the largest deal IBM has ever done, according to Reuters. The deal will help IBM expand its reach as an enterprise cloud computing provider.
In a joint press statement Jim Whitehurst, president and CEO of Red Hat, stated
Joining forces with IBM will provide us with a greater level of scale, resources and capabilities to accelerate the impact of open source as the basis for digital transformation and bring Red Hat to an even wider audience – all while preserving our unique culture and unwavering commitment to open-source innovation.
Ginni Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and CEO, stated "IBM will become the world’s #1 hybrid cloud provider, offering companies the only open cloud solution that will unlock the full value of the cloud for their businesses."
In an accompanying Q&A, Arvind Krishna, senior vice president, IBM Hybrid Cloud, states
We are committed to retaining Red Hat’s culture, leadership and practices. It’s important to remember that IBM has long been a champion of the open source community, starting with our $1 billion investment in Linux 20 years ago. With every crank of the technology cycle over the last two decades, the open source community has played a crucial development role, and that has never been more apparent than today, as companies work to shift their business applications to the cloud. Within that open source community, IBM and Red Hat have had a long and successful relationship. Between us, IBM and Red Hat have contributed more to the open source community than any other organization. And we share many common beliefs – starting with the fact that the IT world is, and will continue to be, hybrid.
Red Hat describes itself as a leading provider of open-source software and services for enterprise customers, focusing on cloud computing and Linux servers. In 2012, it became the first open-source software vendor to surpass $1 billion in revenue.
Red Hat's last reported full-year revenue, the 12 months to February 2018, was $2.9 billion, up 21 per cent on a year ago, with profit of $259 million, pretty much flat on the year before.
IBM reported worse than expected revenue in its most recent earnings update. The company has been working to catch up to Amazon, Microsoft and Google in the cloud infrastructure business.
The deal between IBM and Red Hat is expected to close in the second half of 2019. At this point Red Hat will join IBM's Hybrid Cloud team as a distinct unit, with Red Hat's Whitehurst joining IBM's senior management team, reporting to Rometty.
2018 has been a busy year for mergers, but IBM's deal with Red Hat is by far and away the largest tech deal to be announced. It follows Microsoft's $7.5 billion purchase of GitHub and SalesForce's $6.5 billion acquisition of MuleSoft. Earlier this month, big-data rivals Cloudera and Hortonworks agreed to merge in a $5.2 billion deal.
The term “data company” is certainly broad. It could easily include giant social networks like Meta. The company has perhaps one of the world’s most valuable data sets, which includes about 2.94 billion monthly active users (MAUs). Meta also has many of the world’s elite data scientists on its staff.
But for purposes of this article, the term will be narrower. The focus will be on those operators that build platforms and tools to leverage data – one of the most important technologies in enterprises these days.
Yet even this category still has many companies. For example, if you do a search for data analytics on G2, you will see results for over 2,200 products.
So when coming up with a list of top data companies, it will be, well, imperfect. Regardless, there are companies that are really in a league of their own, from established names to fast-growing startups, publicly traded and privately held. Let’s take a look at 10 of them.
Also see out picks for Top Data Startups.
In 2012, a group of computer scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, created the open source project, Apache Spark. The goal was to develop a distributed system for data over a cluster of machines.
From the start, the project saw lots of traction, as there was a huge demand for sophisticated applications like deep learning. The project’s founders would then go on to create a company called Databricks.
The platform combines a data warehouse and data lakes, which are natively in the cloud. This allows for much more powerful analytics and artificial intelligence applications. There are more than 7,000 paying customers, such as H&M Group, Regeneron and Shell. Last summer, the ARR (annual recurring revenue) hit $600 million.
About the same time, Databricks raised $1.6 billion in a Series H funding and the valuation was set at a stunning $38 billion. Some of the investors included Andreessen Horowitz, Franklin Templeton and T. Rowe Price Associates. An IPO is expected at some point, but even before the current tech stock downturn, the company seemed in no hurry to test the public markets.
We’ve included Databricks on our lists of the Top Data Lake Solutions, Top DataOps Tools and the Top Big Data Storage Products.
SAS (Statistical Analysis System), long a private company, is one of the pioneers of data analytics. The origins of the company actually go back to 1966 at North Carolina State University. Professors created a program that performed statistical functions using the IBM System/360 mainframe. But when government funding dried up, SAS would become a company.
It was certainly a good move. SAS would go on to become the gold standard for data analytics. Its platform allows for AI, machine learning, predictive analytics, risk management, data quality and fraud management.
Currently, there are 80,800 customers, which includes 88 of the Top 100 on the Fortune 500. There are 11,764 employees and revenues hit $3.2 billion last year.
SAS is one of the world’s largest privately-held software companies. Last summer, SAS was in talks to sell to Broadcom for $15 billion to $20 billion. But the co-founders decided to stay independent and despite having remained private since the company’s 1976 founding, are planning an IPO by 2024.
It should surprise absolutely no one that SAS made our list of the top data analytics products.
Snowflake, which operates a cloud-based data platform, pulled off the largest IPO for a software company in late 2020. It raised a whopping $3.4 billion. The offering price was $120 and it surged to $254 on the first day of trading, bringing the market value to over $70 billion. Not bad for a company that was about eight years old.
Snowflake stock would eventually go above $350. But of course, with the plunge in tech stocks, the company’s stock price would also come under extreme pressure. It would hit a low of $110 a few weeks ago.
Despite all this, Snowflake continues to grow at a blistering pace. In the latest quarter, the company reported an 85% spike in revenues to $422.4 million and the net retention rate was an impressive 174%. The customer base, which was over 6,300, had 206 companies with capacity arrangements that led to more than $1 million in product revenue in the past 12 months.
Snowflake started as a data warehouse. But the company has since expanded on its offerings to include data lakes, cybersecurity, collaboration, and data science applications. Snowflake has also been moving into on-premises storage, such as querying S3-compatible systems without moving data.
Snowflake is actually in the early stages of the opportunity. According to its latest investor presentation, the total addressable market is about $248 billion.
Like Databricks, Snowflake made our lists of the best Data Lake, DataOps and Big Data Storage tools.
Founded in 2003, Splunk is the pioneer in collecting and analyzing large amounts of machine-generated data. This makes it possible to create highly useful reports and dashboards.
A key to the success of Splunk is its vibrant ecosystem, which includes more than 2,400 partners. There is also a marketplace that has over 2,400 apps.
A good part of the focus for Splunk has been on cybersecurity. By using real-time log analysis, a company can detect outliers or unusual activities.
Yet the Splunk platform has shown success in many other categories. For example, the technology helps with cloud migration, application modernization, and IT modernization.
In March, Splunk announced a new CEO, Gary Steele. Prior to this, he was CEO of Proofpoint, a fast-growing cloud-based security company.
On Steele’s first earnings report, he said: “Splunk is a system of record that’s deeply embedded within customers’ businesses and provides the foundation for security and resilience so that they can innovate with speed and agility. All of this translated to a massive, untapped, unique opportunity, from which I believe we can drive long-term durable growth while progressively increasing operating margins and cash flow.”
While there is a secular change towards the cloud, the reality is that many large enterprises still have significant on-premises footprints. A key reason for this is compliance. There is a need to have much more control over data because of privacy requirements.
But there are other areas where data fragmentation is inevitable. This is the case for edge devices and streaming from third parties and partners.
For Cloudera – another one of our top data lake solutions – the company has built a platform that is for the hybrid data strategy. This means that customers can take full advantage of their data everywhere.
Holger Mueller at Constellation Research praises Cloudera’s reliance on the open source Apache Iceberg technology for the Cloudera Data Platform.
“Open source is key when it comes to most infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service offerings, which is why Cloudera has decided to embrace Apache Iceberg,” Mueller said. “Cloudera could have gone down a proprietary path, but adopting Iceberg is a triple win. First and foremost, it’s a win for customers, who can store their very large analytical tables in a standards-based, open-source format, while being able to access them with a standard language. It’s also a win for Cloudera, as it provides a key feature on an accelerated timeline while supporting an open-source standard. Last, it’s a win for Apache, as it gets another vendor uptake.”
Last year, Cloudera reported revenues over $1 billion. Among its thousands of customers, they include over 400 governments, the top ten global telcos and nine of the top ten healthcare companies.
Also read: Top Artificial Intelligence (AI) Software for 2022
The founders of MongoDB were not from the database industry. Instead, they were pioneers of Internet ad networks. The team – which included Dwight Merriman, Eliot Horowitz and Kevin Ryan – created DoubleClick, which launched in 1996. As the company quickly grew, they had to create their own custom data stores and realized that traditional relational databases were not up to the job.
There needed to be a new type of approach, which would scale and allow for quick innovation. So when they left DoubleClick after selling the company to Google for $3.1 billion, they went on to develop their own database system. It was based on an open source model and this allowed for quick distribution.
The underlying technology relied on a document model and was called NoSQL. It provided for a more flexible way for developers to code their applications. It was also optimized for enormous transactional workloads.
The MongoDB database has since been downloaded more than 265 million times. The company has also added the types of features required by enterprises, such as high performance and security.
During the latest quarter, revenues hit $285.4 million, up 57% on a year-over-year basis. There are over 33,000 customers.
To keep up the growth, MongoDB is focused on taking market share away from the traditional players like Oracle, IBM and Microsoft. To this end, the company has built the Relational Migrator. It visually analyzes relational schemas and transforms them into NoSQL databases.
When engineers Jay Kreps, Jun Rao and Neha Narkhede worked at LinkedIn, they had difficulties creating infrastructure that could handle data in real time. They evaluated off-the-shelf solutions but nothing was up to the job.
So the LinkedIn engineers created their own software platform. It was called Apache Kafka and it was open sourced. The software allowed for high-throughput, low latency data feeds.
From the start, Apache Kafka was popular. And the LinkedIn engineers saw an opportunity to build a company around this technology in 2014. They called it Confluent.
The open source strategy was certainly spot on. Over 70% of the Fortune 500 use Apache Kafka.
But Confluent has also been smart in building a thriving developer ecosystem. There are over 60,000 meet-up members across the globe. The result is that developers outside Confluent have continued to build connectors, new functions and patches.
In the most recent quarter, Confluent reported a 64% increase in revenues to $126 million. There were also 791 customers with $100,000 or more in ARR (Annual Recurring revenue), up 41% on a year-over-year basis.
Founded in 2010, Datadog started as an operator of a real-time unified data platform. But this certainly was not the last of its new applications.
The company has been an innovator – and has also been quite successful getting adoption for its technologies. The other categories Datadog has entered include infrastructure monitoring, application performance monitoring, log analysis, user experience monitoring, and security. The result is that the company is one of the top players in the fast-growing market for observability.
Datadog’s software is not just for large enterprises. In fact, it is available for companies of any size.
Thus, it should be no surprise that Datadog has been a super-fast grower. In the latest quarter, revenues soared by 83% to $363 million. There were also about 2,250 customers with more than $100,000 in ARR, up from 1,406 a year ago.
A key success factor for Datadog has been its focus on breaking down data silos. This has meant much more visibility across organizations. It has also allowed for better AI.
The opportunity for Datadog is still in the early stages. According to analysis from Gartner, spending on observability is expected to go from $38 billion in 2021 to $53 billion by 2025.
See the Top Observability Tools & Platforms
Traditional data integration tools rely on Extract, Transform and Load (ETL) tools. But this approach really does not handle modern challenges, such as the sprawl of cloud applications and storage.
What to do? Well, entrepreneurs George Fraser and Taylor Brown sought out to create a better way. In 2013, they cofounded Fivetran and got the backing of the famed Y Combinator program.
Interestingly enough, they originally built a tool for Business Intelligence (BI). But they quickly realized that the ETL market was ripe for disruption.
In terms of the product development, the founders wanted to greatly simplify the configuration. The goal was to accelerate the time to value for analytics projects. Actually, they came up with the concept of zero configuration and maintenance. The vision for Fivetran is to make “business data as accessible as electricity.”
Last September, Fivetran announced a stunning round of $565 million in venture capital. The valuation was set at $5.6 billion and the investors included Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, CEAS Investments, and Matrix Partners.
Kevin Stumpf and Mike Del Balso met at Uber in 2016 and worked on the company’s AI platform, which was called Michelangelo ML. The technology allowed the company to scale thousands of models in production. Just some of the use cases included fraud detection, arrival predictions and real-time pricing.
This was based on the first feature store. It allowed for quickly spinning up ML features that were based on complex data structures.
However, this technology still relied on a large staff of data engineers and scientists. In other words, a feature store was mostly for the mega tech operators.
But Stumpf and Del Balso thought there was an opportunity to democratize the technology. This became the focus of their startup, Tecton, which they launched in 2019.
The platform has gone through various iterations. Currently, it is essentially a platform to manage the complete lifecycle of ML features. The system handles storing, sharing and reusing feature store capabilities. This allows for the automation of pipelines for batch, streaming and real-time data.
In July, Tecton announced a Series C funding round for $100 million. The lead investor was Kleiner Perkins. There was also participation from Snowflake and Databricks.
Read next: 5 Top VCs For Data Startups
This website is using a security service to protect itself from online attacks. The action you just performed triggered the security solution. There are several actions that could trigger this block including submitting a certain word or phrase, a SQL command or malformed data.
SEATTLE, Wash. – Skytap, Inc., the innovator in cloud services for application modernization, announces a new datacenter in Toronto, Canada, the first of its kind.
“For the past several years, we have seen a steady stream of companies and other organizations expressing interest in a Skytap cloud region in Canada,” said Paul Farrall, VP of IT operations, Skytap. “We decided to move forward with plans for a Canadian datacenter in Fall 2015 and are very pleased that we were able to design and bring the Toronto datacenter online so quickly.”
The new Skytap datacenter, titled “CAN-Toronto,” is available now for managing complete application environments used for software delivery, development, testing and training workloads.
Benefits to customers include:
“The recent acceleration by Canadian organizations to empower their employees with 3rd Platform capabilities will lead to a surge in demand for SaaS-based and PaaS-based enterprise applications. The public cloud infrastructure is critical to organizations that are seeking to achieve economies of scale, optimize IT projects, and deploy enterprise software with a high degree of flexibility and scalability,” said IDC analyst Utsav Arora.
The Toronto datacenter, Skytap’s seventh, increases Skytap’s global cloud footprint, following the 2015 addition of datacenters in Sydney, Australia (AUS-Sydney), Dallas, Texas (US-Central), and London, England (EMEA-UK). The new datacenter was delivered atop infrastructure from partner IBM SoftLayer within a 3-week schedule.
About Skytap, Inc.
Skytap is a public cloud provider that extends enterprise Cloud and DevOps strategies to traditional on-premises applications. Skytap uniquely supports application modernization with production-ready development, software testing and training environments that work the same way as an on-premises data center. Skytap packages servers, VMs, networks, data and configurations into environments that can be provisioned, cloned, suspended and shared around the world with a single click. To try Skytap and learn more, visit www.skytap.com.
Discuss, review, rate and learn more about web hosting at HostDiscussion.com.
Compuware, a software provider now focused exclusively on managing mainframe systems, announced the general availability release of its quarterly iteration of its Topaz mainframe software, including new Topaz for Java performance capabilities.
These new Java capabilities provide visibility into the performance and behavior of Java Batch programs and IBM WebSphere transactions running on IBM z Systems mainframes, including peak CPU utilization of Java methods and classes, as well as garbage collection issues, according to the company.
Chris O’Malley, president and CEO of Compuware, said bringing Java and other modern programming languages to the mainframe will be a key factor in indoctrinating a new, younger generation of software engineers as the next stewards of mainframe application development and management. He explained that 70% to 80% of the existing mainframe workforce is about to retire, and organizations whose entire back-end platforms and financial businesses are built on mainframes are looking to Java to modernize their investment.
“Topaz is a branded set of solutions trying to bring an ordinary nature to the mainframe,” said O’Malley. “The mainframe as a platform offers reliability, security, performance, and can be significantly cheaper than servers. But it is esoteric. Topaz is trying to make the mainframe look and feel more like something in the open systems world. Initially we brought in data visualization—and then visualization against the application itself—to allow mobile and analytics to interact with these millions of lines of code.
“Java is the next big step for Topaz in dealing with these workloads requested by mobile applications on mainframe data. There’s a substantial push by mainframe customers to bring Java as a method of working with those existing legacy applications as a modernization effort on the platform.”
(Related: A look at Compuware’s first Topaz release this past January)
Along with its new Java capabilities, the release also adds Topaz for Program Analysis: an improved data-flow visibility solution for application design within COBOL or PL/I e. It also has Topaz for Enterprise Data, which adds compression-enabled host-to-host data copying for zIIP processors.
Sam Knutson, Compuware’s director of product management, detailed how the Java and other new Topaz capabilities allow developers to understand workload performance and how to work with Java as a commercial mainframe developer.
“The enhancements around data flow on top of program analysis gives developers an X-ray machine into program code to follow and understand the changes to data throughout applications,” he said. “On the performance side, we’ve gotten in front of the curve. IBM is heavily invested in Java, with IBM and vendors exploiting Java to build things. Now commercial customers want the same thing: to use modern languages like Java, Node and Python on the platform to allow newly hired developers to be immediately productive, and to leverage their technology investments in the hardware without increasing cost.”
Topaz supports all JDKs offered by IBM, and Knutson said Compuware encourages customers to adopt the latest JDKs to take advantage of the advances in technology and performance around Java, from Java 6 to 7 to 8.
As O’Malley explained, Compuware’s efforts around Java with Topaz are a way to show banks, retailers, large financial institutions and other organizations running their entire back ends on mainframes that rather than migrating everything onto servers or a cloud-based platform, they should rethink what the mainframe can do.
“Usually when anybody thinks of the word modernization as it relates to IT, it almost always means re-hosting the platform. We’re trying to make the case for modernizing on platform,” said O’Malley. “In seeing that Topaz could be the answer to a next-generation workforce being innovative and inspired on a mainframe to create new things. Organizations should realize it’s the best platform to modernize on.
“Mainframes aren’t and shouldn’t go anyplace. Developers have to invent on it, and enterprises need to get their best people working on the platform. In doing that, tools count. Interfaces count. Showing a 22-year-old a green screen is like showing garlic to a vampire.”
The first half of 2022 was one of the busiest on record for M&A activity, according to risk management advisor Willis Towers Watson: Only 2021 and 2015 were busier. But deals are taking longer to close, on average, and are not always beneficial to buyers, who underperformed the wider stock market by 4.8 percentage points, WTW said.
That’s not stopping enterprise software and service providers, though: They are continuing to buy their way into new markets and to acquire new capabilities rather than develop them in house.
For CIOs, these deals can disrupt strategic rollouts, spell a need to pivot to a new solution, mean the potential sunsetting of essential technology, provide new opportunities to leverage newly synergized systems, and be a bellwether of further shifts to come in the IT landscape. Keeping on top of activity in this area can help your company make the most of emerging opportunities and steer clear of issues that often arise when vendors combine.
Here CIO.com rounds up of some of the most significant tech M&As of recent months that could impact IT.
IBM has acquired Israeli data observability specialist Databand.ai to beef up its IT operations performance management portfolio alongside Instana APM and IBM Watson Studio. Since CEO Arvind Krishna took over in April 2020, IBM has been pursuing a strategy of making small acquisitions — over 25 of them so far — to fill gaps in its offerings.
Managed solutions provider Ensono has bought AndPlus, a data engineering firm, continuing a run of acquisitions of small cloud consulting companies: In January, it snapped up ExperSolve, which specializes in moving and modernizing mainframe applications, and last year bought Amido. Ensono is owned by KKR, the owner of BMC Software.
IFS has expanded the enterprise asset management (EAM) capabilities of its ERP platform with the acquisition of Dutch software vendor Ultimo. IFS will continue to offer Ultimo’s software as a stand-alone solution.
ParkourSC, a Silicon Valley supply chain software company backed by Intel Capital, has bought IoT networking company Qopper, which was founded by ParkourSC CTO Alok Bhanot.
CRM vendor Zendesk has agreed to be acquired by investment firms Hellman & Friedman and Permira. The two investors will pay around $10.2 billion to take Zendesk private, they announced on June 24. It’s a bargain for Permira and H&F, which also own stakes in cloud customer contact center vendor Genesys: In February, as part of a consortium of bidders, they offered $17 billion for Zendesk, which turned them down saying the offer undervalued the company. At around that time, Zendesk abandoned plans to buy Momentive Global (formerly Survey Monkey) for around $4 billion.
IBM has bought Randori, a specialist in attack surface management and offensive cybersecurity. It’s Big Blue’s fourth acquisition this year, after buying cloud consultants Neudesic and Sentaca in February, and environmental performance management company Envizi in January.
ServiceNow has agreed to buy skills mapping company Hitch Works, with the goal of helping its customers fill talent gaps through staff training.
Digital transformation consulting company ICF is adding to the services it offers US government clients with the acquisition of SemanticBits, a health services software provider. Late last year it also bought health analytics vendor Enterprise Science and Computing (ESAC) and service provider Creative Systems and Consulting, both of which serve US federal agencies.
Epicor continues to expand its ERP platform capabilities through acquisition. On June 7, it bought UK-based Data Interchange, the operator of a global EDI network and developer of software for order processing and EDI mapping.
SaaS ERP vendor Unit4 has bought source-to-contract cloud software vendor ScanMarket to beef up its source-to-pay offering to midmarket service industry customers.
McKinsey doesn’t just advise on mergers and acquisitions; it also makes them. A case in point: Its June 1 purchase of Caserta, the company that built its internal knowledge management platform. McKinsey expects the acquisition to benefit its data transformation work for its clients.
NetApps closed its acquisition of Instaclustr on May 24. The service provider supporting open-source database, pipeline, and workflow applications in the cloud will join the Spot by NetApp portfolio, the collection of SaaS tools built around the cloud management and cost optimization company NetApp bought earlier in 2022.
Barely a year after buying Blue Yonder, a vendor of supply-chain management software as a service, Panasonic is looking to sell it again as it pursues a new strategic direction. Panasonic said in mid-May that it will combine Blue Yonder with its Gemba Process Innovation activities and seek a stock exchange listing for the new entity. It has not set a timetable for the sale.
Augury, an industrial IoT vendor specializing in monitoring machine health, has paid over $100 million for process intelligence vendor Seebo. Augury plans to combine the two companies’ AI-based tools to help manufacturing companies to balance quality and throughput with energy consumption, emissions, and waste.
Codestone Group has bought Clarivos. The two provide services around SAP’s ERP, analytics, and enterprise performance management (EPM) tools.
Perforce Software, a privately held provider of software development tools, has agreed to buy the infrastructure automation software platform Puppet. Perforce already owns development tools such as Helix and the testing tools, including Perfecto and BlazeMeter.
The appetite of Indian IT service companies for European acquisitions is still unsated. Infosys has bought oddity, a German provider of digital marketing services that also has offices in Taipei and Shanghai. Infosys will fold oddity into Wongdoody, the US consumer insights agency it bought in 2018.
Microsoft has bought Minit, a developer of process mining software, to help its customers optimize business processes across the enterprise, on and off Microsoft Power Platform. The acquisition will help it extract process data from enterprise systems such as Oracle, SAP, ServiceNow, and Salesforce to identify process bottlenecks that can be optimized or automated.
Global IT services giant NTT Data has bought another sliver of market share and added some new capabilities with its acquisition of Vectorform, an 80-person digital transformation consultancy based in Detroit. With Vectorform, NTT Data is looking to grow its customer experience and product development services across industries.
Process mining giant Celonis has snapped up Process Analytics Factory, a small German company specializing in process optimization on Microsoft’s platforms. Celonis started out helping enterprises optimize SAP workloads, and now its acquisition of the developer of PAFnow will help it broaden its access to the Power BI and Power Platform markets.
Global data center operator Equinix expanded its capability and connectivity in West Africa in early April with the $320 million acquisition of MainOne, which offers services in Ghana, Nigeria, and Côte d’Ivoire. MainOne has just opened its fourth data center, in Lagos.
With $40 billion in spare cash to spend after its bid for chip designer Arm fell through, Nvidia is turning to smaller acquisitions to build its capabilities. In early March it announced its second of 2022, Excelero, which develops software for securing and accelerating arrays of flash storage for use in enterprise high-performance computing.
NetApp added some new functionality to its portfolio of cloud management tools in late February with the acquisition of Fylamynt, a young low-code cloud ops automation company. Its aim is to help customers automate the deployment of Spot by NetApp services.
SaaS vendor management platform Vendr is buying SaaS management platform vendor Blissfully. Vendr aims to offer finance and procurement teams savings on the purchase of SaaS services, while Blissfully helps enterprises identify what software they own and where they can save money.
Software test automation vendor Tricentis has bought Testim, the developer of an AI-based SaaS test automation platform, to expand its continuous testing solutions. Tricentis hopes Testim’s platform will make it easier for customers to create tests that scale and change with their software.
HR technology company Phenom has snapped up another talent experience management company. This time it’s the German Tandemploy, which Phenom hopes will help it better recommend pairings among peers, mentors, project leaders, and subject matter experts.
Atlassian has acquired chatbot developer Percept AI and plans to add its virtual agent technology to its Jira Service Management IT support tool. The idea is that it will automate the gathering of necessary context before passing them to human operators to help resolve cases faster. It’s Atlassian’s sixth ITSM acquisition in four years.
Microsoft has agreed to buy games developer Activision Blizzard, it said on Jan. 18, 2022. The price tag, a whopping $68.7 billion, dwarfs even the $19.7 billion Microsoft paid for Nuance Communications last year or the $26.2 billion it paid for LinkedIn in 2018.
Activision Blizzard’s apps are not typically authorized on enterprise networks, but there’s a chance its technology for creating and animating virtual worlds could make it into the workplace. Microsoft said the acquisition will give it the building blocks for the metaverse — a term for a virtual reality space where people interact for purposes of work or entertainment.
If so, that could make the virtual office a more pleasant sight than the blurred backgrounds and disembodied heads we see in Teams today — and prompt a wave of hardware refreshes to support the additional graphics workload.
IT asset management platform Lansweeper has acquired UMAknow, the developer of Cloudockit. As Lansweeper scans on-premises computing environments, Cloudockit compiles architecture diagrams and documents users’ assets in the cloud.
Data integrity specialist Precisely kicked off 2022 by buying PlaceIQ, a provider of location-based consumer data. It’s Precisely’s fifth acquisition since itself changing ownership last March. Other purchases include weather data provider Anchor Point and MDM software vendor Winshuttle.
Continuing along its flight path of acquiring small regional or industry-specific ERP vendors, Aptean has bought Austrian software vendor JET ERP, its fourth recent acquisition in the country.
Indian IT services provider Tech Mahindra is expanding its offering to insurance, reinsurance, and financial firms with the acquisition of Com Tec Co IT, a custom software developer with 700 staff in Latvia and Belarus skilled in modern technologies, including AI, ML, and devsecops, for €310 million, while another Indian company, HCL Technologies, has acquired Starschema, a Hungarian data- and software-engineering service provider with offices in Budapest and Arlington, Va.
Midmarket ERP vendor Sage closed its acquisition of Brightpearl on Jan. 18. It plans to integrate Brightpearl’s e-commerce management software with its Intacct cloud-based financial applications.
With its giant bid for microprocessor designer ARM now abandoned, Nvidia is turning to smaller deals to bolster its capabilities. In early January, it bought Bright Computing, a developer of software for managing the high-performance computing clusters that Nvidia’s chips are used in when they’re not mining cryptocurrencies or rendering games.
Oracle has acquired Verenia’s NetSuite-based configure-price-quote business in order to add native CPQ functionality to NetSuite. Verenia retains its non-NetSuite product lines.
Android announced its updateable, fully-integrated ML inference stack for developers to get built-in on-device inference essentials, optimal performance on all devices and a consistent API that spans Android versions.
TensorFlow Lite will be available on all devices with Google Play Services and will no longer require developers to include the runtime in their apps.
Also, automatic acceleration is a new feature in TensorFlowLite for Android that enables per-model testing to create allowlists for specific devices taking performance, accuracy and stability into account.
IBM announced plans to acquire BoxBoat Technologies, a DevOps consultancy and enterprise Kubernetes certified service provider.
“Our clients require a cloud architecture that allows them to operate across a traditional IT environment, private cloud and public clouds. That’s at the heart of our hybrid cloud approach,” said John Granger, senior vice president of Hybrid Cloud Services at IBM. “No cloud modernization project can succeed without a containerization strategy, and BoxBoat is at the forefront of container services innovation.”
BoxBoat will join IBM Global Business Services’ Hybrid Cloud Services business to enhance IBM’s capacity to meet rising client demand for container strategy.
Additional details are available here.
Aqua Security announced that it is acquiring the cloud security company tfsec to add infrastructure as code (IaC) security capabilities to its open-source portfolio and cloud-native security platform.
The unique approach tfsec takes to loading code ensures that one’s IaC is interpreted exactly as Terraform does, meaning that regardless of complexity, users get a comprehensive view of any vulnerabilities before deployment, according to Aqua Security
“Aqua Trivy has become the industry standard for open source vulnerability scanning thanks to its simple user experience and rich functionality. Now Trivy brings the same superior experience into Infrastructure as Code scanning to provide even more value to container and code scanning,” says Itay Shakury, the director of open source at Aqua Security. “By integrating tfsec and Trivy, our users can scan code repositories and container images for vulnerabilities and IaC configuration issues – all using a single tool, that can integrate into their CI tool or even be used as a Github action.”
Devart adds new data connectivity tool
Devart added a new tool to their data connectivity product line, ODBC Driver for Hubspot, which has enterprise-level features for accessing HubSpot from ODBC-compliant reporting, analytics, BI and ETL tools.
The tool provides full support for standard ODBC API functions and data types and for all HubSpot objects and data types. It can also be connected to HubSpot directly through HTTPS or through a proxy server.
“Our ODBC driver is a standalone installation file that doesn’t require the user to deploy and configure any additional software such as a database client or a vendor library. Deployment costs are reduced drastically, especially when using the silent install method with an OEM license in large organizations that have hundreds of machines,” the company stated on its website.
This week at the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) saw the release of ShardingSphere ElasticJob 3.0.0, an ecosystem that consists of a set of distributed database solutions, including 3 independent products, JDBC, Proxy & Sidecar (Planning).
Also new this week are AntUnit 1.4.1, CloudStack 184.108.40.206 LTS, Tika 1.27, UIMA Java SDK 2.11.0, Qpid Proton 0.35.0, Dispatch 1.16.1 and more. Apache Sqoop is now retired.
Additional details on all of the new releases from the ASF are available here.